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Poster: mwoodwar Date: Dec 5, 2002 3:32am
Forum: bookmobile Subject: Re: Any programmer/xml types up for a challenge?

Well, I agree with much of what you say..especially the appropriateness of title selection.

Perhaps this could help define a starting point? Would it be possible to have a look at 10 or so potential titles that are already digital...and prepare those 10 for printing adequately?

While I understand the competition with Nintendo et al., let me briefly tell you how I became interested in all of this. I was helping out at a local church...reading stories. One 7 yr old girl (who stayed for the whole thing) said that she really loved a certain story that was read.

I asked her if she would like to have the book...and her jaw dropped. She was 7 years old, and had NEVER had a book of her own at home...NEVER. Then and there I decided to do something...and within a week, I heard about the Internet Bookmobile.

Doing an internet bookmobile may not produce widespread results...doing nothing guarantees no results.

Mark

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Poster: rem2ram Date: Dec 5, 2002 4:45am
Forum: bookmobile Subject: Re: Re: Any programmer/xml types up for a challenge?

I agree with Mark and Peter. If an arbitrary number of books (say 10 or 20) for each target group (pre-school, elementary, high school and seniors etc.) are formatted and ready for printing would be a great start. If a priority list of books that have been digitized is created, a “standard” format agreed upon, a way to “check out” documents so that people do not duplicate the formatting effort (maybe Xerox would donate their DocuShare product) and a short guide for formatting - books could be ready for Internet Bookmobiles all over the country. I bet if we post a request for help formatting the books on slashdot.org, geek.com and maybe even bookcrossing.com a lot of people would be willing to help.

Terry

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Poster: Jacques Richer Date: Dec 5, 2002 5:46am
Forum: bookmobile Subject: Re: Re: Any programmer/xml types up for a challenge?

While I hesitate to mention this, have any of you considered Latex? There is already an elementary converter for plain text (ascii), and a bit of formatting knowledge will get you nice looking PS, PDF, decent HTML, and wide support for a very large selection of printers.
In addition to this, all the software to do the basic work is free, and has been ported to *nix, MS Windows, and Mac. I recently hacked together some scripts, and while the output is not impressive, it is at least readable. I would be willing to email you some samples if you like.

Jacques Richer
Richer Consulting
bithead256@yahoo.com (Personal email)

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Poster: Peter Zelchenko Date: Dec 5, 2002 2:10pm
Forum: bookmobile Subject: Re: Any programmer/xml types up for a challenge?

All of this is good commentary, and I really like Mark's story about the girl. My sometime cynicism melts away under such power.

After speaking at length today with Brewster and later with Mike Hart, we have a couple of potential solutions in the works. There are some enormous kinks, but we may be able to attack this cheaply and without much manual effort. At least, that's the theory.

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Poster: mwoodwar Date: Dec 5, 2002 9:59pm
Forum: bookmobile Subject: Re: Any programmer/xml types up for a challenge?

Well, please post some details as soon as you can? Who knows, maybe there is someone waiting in the wings who might have a vital piece of the puzzle.

As far as the story goes, unfortunately here in Tennessee it repeats itself all too often. While there are some surefire low tech solutions (buying and giving away books) I feel that having them take part in the process of making the book could be very powerful, and perhaps plant a seed for the future.

Mark